Life would be so much easier if there were a big ole ‘recover from porn and masturbation addiction’ button lying around, wouldn’t it?
I know given the chance, many of us would hit that baby so hard it would crush under our enthusiasm.
Or maybe frustration is a better word…
But alas, if it exists, it remains a mystery!
That’s what brings you here.
But, I bring good news, my friend!
There is in fact, a big, red button! …It just looks a little different than you may have imagined.
Instead of slamming down on a shiny hunk of plastic, all you’ve got to do is be a STARR:
See you’re not alone,
These are five simple statements that will lead you into finding freedom from porn and masturbation. Let’s zoom in on what they mean.
1. See You’re Not Alone
The biggest lie addiction feeds you is ‘you are alone! If anyone knew, they’d be disgusted!’
Check out the stats. Chances are, someone (well, a lot of someone’s) in your life, and in your church are struggling too.
Women are especially vulnerable to this lie. They can feel drained of their femininity and balk in the face of struggling with ‘a guy’s issue.’ But remember, one in three visitors to adult websites are female, and between thirteen and twenty percent of Christian women consider themselves addicted! You are far from alone.
This ministry wouldn’t exist if you were the only man or woman struggling. But here we are. Let that sink in.
2. Tell someone:
The Bible refers to Satan as the ‘Father of Lies.’ He works best in the dark where there is no one to rebuke him. When you confess your struggle, you shed light on that dark place and open a space where truth can be spoken! When you tell someone and are accepted, it flies right in the face of the lie ‘You are not worth loving’. It is a taste of the grace of God.
If it were possible to get free on your own, you wouldn’t be here, would you?
Recovery is a team effort. As Craig Gross says, ‘a good story requires more than one character!’
You need someone on the outside to speak clarity. Your brain is on autopilot, so you need someone to remind you, ‘You don’t actually want this, remember?!’ in those clouded moments of lust.
This means having someone you can text or call at any time (even those crazy hours of the morning) when temptation strikes, meeting regularly (over coffee, Skype or phone) to share victories and struggles, using accountability software or joining a group.
Accountability means brutal honesty and vulnerability. But it also means freedom.
4. Recognize Pain:
Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder. Think of yourself as a tree. The fruit is the behavior you exhibit. But apples don’t just grow out of nothing, do they? Their life-force is in the roots.
Those who fight sexual compulsion often have their roots in trauma, abuse, abandonment or some other form of ruptured intimacy.
Healing comes when you recognize those hidden triggers. It can help to delve into these issues with a mentor, counselor or recovery group. Without dealing with the root, you’ll never heal the fruit.
5. Restore Intimacy:
Recovering from addiction isn’t about cutting something out of your life. It’s about adding to it!
This addition is threefold: With yourself, your community and your God.
Self-intimacy isn’t as inappropriate as it sounds! This means self-love and self-care. When was the last time you believed you deserved to be pampered? Be gentle on yourself, nourish your soul and allow yourself a treat!
Community is vital because shame is isolating. It stops you from engaging with the world like you used to. Community is a healing way to re-enter reality. Enjoy sports, hobbies, activities, church or just having semi-regular coffee with some friends. They will start breathing freedom and hope into your lungs.
Of course, true and lasting intimacy is with God. He knows every image and temptation you’ve faced. And he likes you. He enjoys you! Connect with him however you can, whether that means swearing, running, singing badly, reading theology books or sitting on a beach with him in silence. He longs to come near and hold your heart.
The Bible talks about shining like stars; I’ll bet my hermeneutics are off, but you’ll sure as heck start shining when you use this process of being a STARR. That big, red ‘recovery’ button may not be as far off as you think. Get to it.
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